Young people’s views of tuition fees and their attitudes towards debt

Working papers

This working paper presents findings from research undertaken with young people as part of the ESRC project ‘Higher Education in Scotland, the devolution settlement and the referendum on independence’. Interviews were conducted with 148 young people aged 14 to 19.  The interviews were designed to cover some of the key areas of interest in higher education policy, such as the various funding systems within the UK, and to explore how further devolution or independence might impact on these areas. Questions explored young people’s views on the benefits of going to university; their attitudes towards the funding of, and access to, higher education; and their attitudes towards Scottish independence more widely.  This working paper looks particularly at young people’s views of tuition fees and their attitudes towards debt. It begins with a background section which discusses current policy and some relevant research, before providing a brief discussion of the methods used. The findings are split into three main sections; 1) pupils’ views on tuition fees; 2) their views on what may happen to fees in the future; and 3) their attitudes towards debt. The paper explores the views of Scottish pupils before discussing the views of those in the north of England.  The paper ends with a discussion of some of the key similarities and contrasts between the views of those in Scotland and the north of England.

34ii_h_ESRCF_WP7.pdf (1.15 MB, application/pdf)